Rachael Gazdick is president and chief executive officer of Colorado “I Have A Dream Foundation” (CIHADF), an organization that has impacted more than 1,000 students in its 30-year history, and currently serves close to 700 youth. She brings to the organization 24 years of experience in education and advocacy, and leads the foundations expansion efforts in ensure education equity for Colorado students. Prior to joining CIHADF, Rachael served as the Executive Director of Say Yes to Education Syracuse, a program housed within Syracuse University’s School of Education. The district-wide organization served more than 22,000 students in 31 schools.While at Syracuse, she also served as an assistant professor for the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies and an adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work and Honors Program.From 2001 to 2008, Rachael was associate director and then director of the Office of Community Engagement and Integrative Learning; running an array of community-focused programs and social justice initiatives. From 1999 to 2001, she was the executive director of Near East Side Community Development Organization of Syracuse (NESCO), focusing on job placement, training, mentoring and youth programs. She began her career with Teach for America, serving as a special needs teacher in South West Louisiana for two years. Recently having completed her service on the National I Have A Dream Board, she currently sits on the board of CareerWise Colorado and serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver School of Social Work.
Rachael has a master’s degree in education from Harvard University; a master’s degree in social work from Boston College, where she focused on needs assessments, grant writing, nonprofit management and community mobilization; and a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Syracuse University.